In 2014, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution recognizing July 15 as World Youth Skills Day. This annual observance is intended to promote the development and empowerment of young people and to mobilize society in addressing the skills gap.
This skills gap applies to all sectors, especially when it gets to IT and the cybersecurity space. The cybersecurity field is experiencing a talent shortage that has been exacerbated by increased cyber-attacks and new technologies which will require more specialized talent than ever. According to (ISC)2 Cybersecurity Workforce Study, despite having a workforce of more than 879,000 people in the United States alone, there is still a deficit of more than 359,000 professionals in the field.
Technology is Getting More Sophisticated
One of the most obvious causes of the cybersecurity skills gap is the rapid growth of digital technology over the past few decades.
The accelerating pace at which technology is changing means that companies need employees who have both technical knowledge as well as business acumen to help them stay ahead of cybercriminals who may be looking for ways to exploit gaps in their security systems and processes. They also need to adapt their existing workforce to meet this growing threat.
Lack of Diversity is a Major Concern
The lack of diversity in cybersecurity is a problem plaguing a lot of countries that have seen similar issues when it comes to gender inequality within their labour forces. This is not limited to just one industry or type of company; it occurs across many different industries and sectors.
Few Training Programs
These challenges have been worsened by a lack of adequate training programs available both within countries or corporations/organizations. This makes it difficult for students who graduate from college or university without any experience working on cybersecurity projects.
Organizations Need to Follow a Holistic Approach to Addressing the Skills Gap
The CyberSec skills gap can be attributed to many factors which include: a lack of qualified professionals in the industry, lack of awareness and interest in CyberSec careers, unavailability of training programs, and difficulty in getting certified. To address these issues effectively, organizations must take a holistic approach looking at them from all angles and comprehensively addressing them in an all-encompassing way.
First, the skills gap can be tackled by investing in education and training programs that will create new talent pools of skilled professionals who can meet the demands of industries around the world. Companies are working together to provide training and education programs for those who want to enter the field. They are also working with governments and other organizations to encourage more people to join the industry, and develop new technologies that will make jobs easier and more accessible.
There is also a need to raise awareness about cybersecurity careers and create more opportunities for people to learn about cybersecurity. The goal is to make it easier for people with other technical qualifications like IT or engineering backgrounds to get certified as well as incentivize them with higher salaries. To effectively address the global shortage of cyber talent, we need to move beyond patchwork solutions and instead implement holistic approaches such as organizations hiring interns to fill future positions and help address retention issues.
Sometimes, the problem is not just about the lack of qualified candidates but also about retention. Cybersecurity professionals are in high demand and can easily find work elsewhere when time comes to leave their current job. This means that companies must offer the work flexibility that everyone now expects, competitive salaries and benefits packages to keep their talent from moving on, which can be difficult for smaller organizations or startups without as much funding available to them as larger corporations do.
Stay tuned to the Thales Security Sessions Podcast as we’ll be discussing this very topic later in the year.